Sending Written Work

Candidates for some subjects are required to submit written work as part of the application process. Written work must be sent by post along with the cover sheet that can be found at the bottom of this page. We will provide full information and guidance after you have applied to us. Please don't worry in the meantime. The deadline for submitting written work in 2019 is Thursday 7th November. 
 

Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic

Once candidates have applied through UCAS they are normally asked to submit one recent essay written for school or college work and marked by a teacher.

Archaeology

Students are not required to submit any written work as part of their application to King's.

Architecture

Applicants for Architecture will not be asked to submit written work but will be asked to bring a portfolio of work to their interviews. We do not formally ‘mark’ or assess the portfolio but in judging your suitability for the course we will be interested to see the terms in which you discuss your work. The choice of material included in your portfolio is up to you; successful candidates have brought paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and constructions of all kinds, particularly material that conveys a spatial and three dimensional interest. We would not, however, expect to see designs for buildings – that is what you are coming to Cambridge to learn!

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

After applying, candidates for AMES are usually asked to submit two recent essays or equivalent pieces of school work on a subject of your choice. These may be discussed at interviews. If you apply to study a European language, you would also be asked to submit a piece of work written in your European language.

Chemical Engineering

Applicants for Chemical Engineering do not need to submit any written work as part of their application.

Classics

After you apply we will ask you to send one marked essay so that we can see how you think on paper.

Computer Science

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application.

Economics

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application.

Engineering

Applicants are not expected to submit any written work as part of their application.

English

Once English candidates have applied through UCAS, they are asked to submit two recent essays or equivalent pieces of school work on a subject of literary interest.

Geography

Once you have applied through UCAS, you will be asked to submit a recent piece of school work of your choice.

History

Once History candidates have applied through UCAS, they are asked to submit two recent History essays. These are to be essays completed as part of your A-Level or equivalent studies in History (please don't send work from other subjects) and they must contain your teacher's comments or marks.

History and Modern Languages

Once History and Modern Language candidates have applied through UCAS, they are asked to submit:

  • two History essays. If you are taking History at school, these are to be essays completed as part of your A-Level or equivalent History course and they must contain your teacher's comments or marks.
  • a third essay written in the language you are applying for. Candidates applying for a language from scratch do not submit a third essay.

History and Politics

Once History and Politics candidates have applied through UCAS, they are asked to submit three essays, including at least two essays on History. If you are taking History at school, your two History essays should be essays completed as part of your A-Level or equivalent History course and they must contain your teacher's comments or marks.

History of Art

Once you have applied through UCAS, you will be asked to submit a recent piece of school work of your choice.

Human, Social and Political Sciences

Once HSPS candidates have applied through UCAS, they are asked to submit two recent essays or equivalent pieces of school work.

Law

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application to King's.

Linguistics

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application to King's.

Mathematics

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application to King's.

Medicine

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application to King's.

Modern and Medieval Languages

After applying through UCAS, MML candidates will be asked to submit one essay written in each post-A level (or equivalent) language they are applying for, plus one essay in English on a subject of literary, linguistic, historical or cultural interest.

Music

Following your UCAS application you will be asked to submit a harmony or counterpoint exercise, and / or an original composition; and an historical or analytical essay - preferably on music, but another subject is acceptable.

Natural Sciences

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application to King's.

Philosophy

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application to King's.

Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application to King's.

Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion

After you apply we will ask you to send a marked essay so that we can see how you think on paper.

Which Essay(s) Should I Select?

Unless the subject matter is specified for your subject, any piece of work written for the subjects you study / studied at school or college will be fine, even if the work is not linked to the subject that you propose to study at Cambridge. In general, we would like to see work that best reflects your interests and abilities. We are deliberately flexible about the exact content so that you are free to select pieces that you would like us to read. You can submit work that is also being examined officially as coursework if you want to.

It is best to submit recent work; however, the essays you submit do not have to have been written in your final year at school. Essays written last academic year would be fine if you have not yet produced anything suitable this year. We do not expect gap-year students to produce new work - if you are on a gap year, please send essays from your final year at school.

We prefer essays to be marked by a member of your school staff. If submitting marked work is not possible for any reason, please add a brief explanatory note on the coversheet. School work must be original work, not re-written or corrected for Cambridge.

Unless specified in the information for your subject, essays may be either handwritten or typed. We prefer you to submit your work exactly as you produced it at school or college. Accordingly, please do not worry about such details as formatting or whether or not you included a bibliography.

Any essays you send should be pieces of work that you would feel happy to discuss in an interview. Your interviewers then decide whether or not to ask you about your written work.

There is no word limit. As a guide, and unless otherwise specified in your subject paragraph, most candidates submit essays that are between 1,000 and 3,000 words long. When selecting work, please note that we are looking for quality rather than quantity. If you submit work that is longer than 3,000 words, we are happy to receive it but do not guarantee that the interviewers will read all of it.

All essays must be written in English, unless we have requested them to be written in a foreign language that you are applying to study at Cambridge. It is best to submit work that was originally written in English, however We are happy to accept translations (either official translations or a translation by you) if you want to submit work originally written in another language. We are aware of differences in syllabus and methodology in different countries so you will not be disadvantaged if your essays are not written in the same style as those we receive from UK applicants.

If, for any reason, you are unable to submit any written work, it is in your interest to write to us before the deadline and to explain your circumstances.
 


 

Preparing Your Written Work

Each essay MUST be accompanied by a signed coversheet - available at the bottom of this page. If you are at school or able to be in contact with your previous school, a member of your school staff must certify the pieces you submit as your own work on the coversheet.

Please write on the coversheet any information about the context in which you wrote each essay which may be useful for the person reading it. For example, how long you were given to do it (1 hour / 3 days / 3 weeks etc.), whether or not you were allowed to use a dictionary (say, in the case of foreign language essays) or other resources. Anything else that you feel needs explaining about the work that you are sending can be explained in a note on the coversheet.

Please send copies rather than original pieces - we will not return submitted work. Please ensure that you keep a copy for your own reference.

Please ensure that you photocopy or print your essays single-sided (text on only one side of the paper).

Please number the pages.

Please do not use any staples, treasury tags or plastic wallets, and do not spiral-bind your work. We prefer you to send us sheets of paper in the right order in an envelope. You may use a paperclip if you want to.

Sending Your Written Work

Please submit your essays by post. E-mailed attachments or faxed copies are not acceptable. If you are an international student, you must post your essays in time for us to receive them by the deadline.

You MUST ensure that you use correct postage when you send your work to us, Within the UK, A4 envelopes require LARGE LETTER stamps otherwise the Post Office will not deliver them.

All applicants who have taken modular A-levels must also send a UMS form - these can be included in the envelope with your written work.

Due to the large amount of post we receive, we cannot send individual acknowledgement emails for written work and other post we receive. However, we will email you shortly after the deadline passes if we have not received your written work. If you require confirmation, there are three ways to ensure that your written work has been received:

a) You could include a stamped, self-addressed postcard. If you include a stamped postcard addressed to yourself, we will post this back to you to confirm receipt of your work. Note that due to the large volume of post being received, we cannot guarantee that we will post your postcard on the same day that we receive your envelope, so please do not be concerned if it arrives a day or two later than you expect. If you are an international student, please remember that we will post your self-addressed postcard in the UK so the stamp on it must be a UK stamp.

b) You could arrange for special delivery. If you require immediate confirmation that your envelope has arrived or detailed tracking, please arrange for special delivery. The King's porters are happy to sign for post whenever it arrives.

c) Local candidates could hand-deliver their work. Candidates who live locally are welcome to hand-deliver essays and other documents to the Porters' Lodge at King's if they wish. You must not bring your essays to the Admissions Office. Hand-delivered mail should still be addressed to The Undergraduate Admissions Office, King's College, Cambridge, CB2 1ST.

Some documents, such as written work and confidentiality agreements, must be sent to the College by post - find out more here.
Applying for entry in 2020, or for deferred entry in 2021? Check the dates and deadlines for your application here.  
Thinking of applying to King's? See here for a breakdown of the process, from submitting your UCAS application to receiving your offer.
Find out more about choosing your subject and see the full list of the courses available to study at King's, from Anglo-Saxon to Theology.

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